For years when taking pictures of models I have built, I have just bodged something together with bristol board sheets. Its worked, but frankly, it has never been the perfect solution. In one of those enough is enough moments, this week while looking for sometheing else photo gear related, Amazon served up a bunch of photo box options. Looking through them, I settled on one that was $45CDN and offered a $9.00 off coupon (who knows, I don’t understand Amazon’s algorithms). It came with a photo box, six backgrounds of different colours, a carrying case for when its folded flat and has built in LED strips. It also had a tripod clip for a cellphone, which was what I was actually looking for so I can use my cell to take videos when I am out photographing trains by putting it in the clip. I also have a Bluetooth shutter release for the phone, so in theory I could also mount it at a different angle to take pictures remotely now. Time will tell.
Back to the item at hand. The booth is a heavy plastic formed piece that clips together when you fold it out, and folds flat for storage in its case. There are six heavy foam sheets for the backdrop in different colours (white, black, red, blue, green and yellow). The LED strips provide a good base of lighting, and I will experiment more, but will likely use my flash still with my SLR for taking finished project photos for posting.
A new photo cube for taking product photos from Amazon. Not bad for $36. It will do what I need for taking pictures of models when I finish them.
First impressions, is it perfect? No, but for the price, it will do what I want for a while. This is one of those things I’ve said I should buy for years, and I haven’t, so now I’ve effectively bought a starter set. If I find I am making a lot of use out of it and finding limitations, buying a more expensive one might make sense. This is a lesson I have learnt over the years for a lot of things. I have bought tools, if I was unsure if I would use it a lot or like it, I maybe bought a cheaper version, and then have gone back and bought better tools. While I strongly believe in buying the best tool for the task, I am also a realist in terms of budget. For something I am not sure about, a $36 outlay vs. $100 is a smart investment, even if I do go back and buy a more expensive replacement later. This to me is the equivalent of training wheels. In a year or two if I do replace this, I will have more than gotten my moneys worth from it, and if I don’t, the money saved will hopefully mean many other projects or tool purchases happen, its a balance.
Just some quick shots with my iPhone of models that were close at hand. I think once I get out the SLR and the Tripod, this will do just fine for taking pictures of models as I complete them.
Now I need to actually get off my rear and finish some of the half built freight car kits on my workbench to have something worth photographing! Back to the workbench for me!